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The Donatist ChurchA Movement of Protest in Roman North Africa$
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W. H. C. Frend

Print publication date: 1985

Print ISBN-13: 9780198264088

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198264088.001.0001

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The Consolidation of Donatism a.d. 337–63

The Consolidation of Donatism a.d. 337–63

(p.169) XII The Consolidation of Donatism A.D. 337–63
The Donatist Church

W. H. C. Frend

Oxford University Press

The half-century that followed the death of Constantine was one of steady development for the Donatist Church, disturbed but not halted by periods of intermittent repression. At the death of Constantine in May 337, Donatus was still at the height of his power. Donatus' authority extended to every corner of Roman Africa, but was most solidly entrenched in Numidia and in Carthage itself. So firm were the traditions on which he had built, that despite the affair of Paul and Macarius and the succeeding period of Caecilianist ascendancy between 347 and 361, Donatism remained for another 50 years the predominant religion of North Africa. Later, however, the effect of the restoration of the Donatist leaders increased the religious and social feuds between members of the two communities. A barrier of fear, hatred, and superstition separated Donatist and Catholic.

Keywords:   Constantine, Donatist Church, North Africa, Donatus, Catholic ascendancy, African Catholicism

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